10 Reasons We Keep So Much Paper

It seems that everyone struggles with paper clutter. At the beginning of each year, we encourage clients to go through filing cabinets, recycling or shredding unneeded documents. For some folks though, the paper clutter is deeper than a few old insurance explanation of benefits or old quarterly financial statements.

The following are ten reasons we hang on to so much paper!

  1. Information is powerful. We keep a lot of paper as reference material, so we can find it later when we need it.
  2. For many people, printed copy is easier to read than online. Some folks print reams of documents with the intention to read through every page.
  3. Catalogues are promises of a better future self or home. We often hang on to them for inspiration or potential future purchases.
  4. Magazines can be full of knowledge we’d like to retain. We keep them to read them again, or to hang on to the “knowledge” we’ve gained.
  5. Beautiful photography in magazines may inspire our travel. We may get ideas for home remodeling projects from magazines. Although much of this information is also available online, we may keep the magazine as a physical reminder.
  6. Sometimes, the paper is your work product. You may have copies of projects completed at work. You have boxes of work (or school) related documents that have made their way home from the office. When we change jobs, we may retain samples of our work in hard copy to use as reference in future jobs or as work samples in interviews.
  7. We are more likely to keep  graded school work as a keepsake. This is true for first grade one paragraph stories all the way to high school term papers.
  8. Paper can represent creativity. Art work our children create may represent a specific time in our lives. Our own artwork may be a part of our legacy.
  9. Paper contains sentiment. Cards, letters, copies of dissertations, all these are examples of paper you might be keeping for sentimental reasons.
  10. Receipts are proof and back up documentation for taxes. Some folks worry they’ll be audited. When they are not sure whether they need a document, they air on the side of keeping it.


If your office or workspace has been rendered mostly unusable by piles of paper, it may be time to get organized and regain control over your space. This task may seem overwhelming if the volume is high. You may not know where to begin. Save time and frustration by working together with a professional home organizer who knows the specific rules of what types of documents need to be shredded, and what documents need to be retained (and for how long). Typically, the amount of work we accomplish in three hours would take you nine to twelve hours working solo.

Let us help you sort through all your piles and file what’s necessary. We’ll haul away and handle your shredding securely. Allow us to empower you to an easy paper flow system.


Get a FREE In-home or Virtual Consultation

Need help from our professional organizers in the Seattle and Eastside areas? Schedule your FREE consultation with one of our experts today!